Friday, August 29, 2014, 9:49am
Cody Parkey, acquired last week in a trade with Indianapolis, boomed a 54-yard field goal attempt late in the first half. In the third quarter, the Eagles wanted to see if that first kick was a fluke, so they sent him out for a 53-yard attempt. Once again, Parkey was successful.
At Auburn, Parkey's career long for a field goal was 52 yards and he surpassed that twice on Thursday. It may have not been a regular season game, but a job was on the line as Parkey and Alex Henery are vying for the kicker job.
Owners drafting this weekend should avoid Henery. It looks like his job is in serious jeopardy.
The pressure is on Matt Schaub to produce quickly. He hasn't looked good in the preseason and may be replaced early in the season if he can't get it together.
Even though Wes Welker ran some routes before game, there are still multiple evaluations to clear in concussion protocol to play Sept. 7.
The fact that he was able to even warm up before the team's preseason game is a good sign for his availability for Week 1. We're still not recommending that owners run out and draft him in the middle rounds.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 9:56pm
Bears WR Santonio Holmes proved he still has some juice left when he broke a tackle to score a 32-yard touchdown, followed by a 30-yard punt return. Granted, Holmes accomplished this against Cleveland backups, but he made the most of the opportunities presented to him. Holmes has too much experience to let walk away.
Bills rookie Sammy Watkins didn't play against the Buccaneers last week after suffering a rib injury against the Steelers on Aug. 16. Watkins finally returned to action on Thursday, but he only lasted a total of nine plays before re-injuring his ribs.
The fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft was taken to the locker room in the first quarter after taking a hit from Detroit linebacker Ashlee Palmer. It looked like Watkins was going to stay in the game after taking the hit from Palmer, but after the officiating crew stopped the game to fix the clock, Watkins decided to head to the sideline.
The Bills confirmed that Watkins suffered a rib injury and the team also announced that he'd be spending the rest of the game on the bench.
Watkins' injury is troubling from the standpoint that the Bills pass offense hasn't looked very good and now he's going to miss more practice time leading up to Week 1. He has to be considered questionable at this point. Stay tuned.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:54pm
The signs point to the Colts keeping six receivers, but Da'Rick Rogers and Griff Whalen, the likely candidates for that spot, can't take anything for granted in case they have a bigger need at another position on the roster. Whalen has the edge on Rogers if the Colts do decide to keep only five receivers. Rogers has shown flashes in the preseason -- a 45-yard catch against the New York Jets and touchdown against the New York Giants -- and has more potential than Whalen. But Whalen has been more consistent going back to training camp at Anderson (Indiana) University.
Jaguars undrafted WR Allen Hurns continues to turn heads...
"He has good instincts and is really driven," Gus Bradley said, per The Florida Times-Union. "We saw it in OTAs -- some of the quarterbacks said they really like him. They felt like this guy is a diamond in the rough. Just trust us on this. He has some talent. I think the cool thing for him was it was against the ones. He went out there and performed at that level."
While preseason stats and hype mean nothing once the real games start, Hurns has shown he should be on the field from the jump. Considering the Jaguars' injury concerns and the lack of a No. 1 playmaker, Hurns has displayed a rapport with his quarterbacks, an ability to run NFL routes and make catches in traffic.
We still believe that Marqise Lee has the inside track to start, but Hurns has outplayed the 2nd round pick in the preseason. He's worth consideration in the final rounds as a flier.
he development of wide receiver Jarrett Boykin last season was a major reason why the Green Bay Packers felt comfortable allowing valuable veteran James Jones to depart for Oakland in unrestricted free agency. Boykin's further development this summer might limit the playing time of rookie Davante Adams.
In February, coach Mike McCarthy predicted that Boykin, who would be entering his third season, had another performance jump in him. On Tuesday, McCarthy left no doubt that he would think he was right.
"Clearly, Jarrett Boykin has taken the next step," McCarthy said. "I just love the way he plays. He's had an excellent camp.
"He's physical, his toughness, he's relentless. I think he's exceptional at the top of his route. You see his strength and balance to separate from a DB."
Adams, a second-round draft choice, has been feeling his way as the team's No. 4 receiver. He's had good days and some not so good ones.
After Randall Cobb went down, Boykin stepped in and served as the Packers de facto WR3, catching 49 passes for 681 yards and three scores. In games where he played at least 59% of the snaps, he averaged 4.3-61-.27, which equates to 124 fantasy points over a full season. That’s about what Marques Colston scored as the #27 WR in 2013. Cobb is back, but James Jones is gone, so Boykin should play a lot in the Packers’ patented three-wide attack. The only concern is rookie Davante Adams, but first-year wideouts don’t usually play much in Green Bay. Boykin seems to have held off Adams for the WR3 job, which bodes very well for his fantasy value.
The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe reported Thursday that Dobson traveled with the Patriots and is expected to make his preseason debut tonight against the New York Giants. It's uncertain how much playing time Dobson will see.
A return to action is the first step as Dobson tries to regain his footing as one of the Patriots' starting outside receivers. He's battling Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell, both of whom have the early leg up. Dobson performed well down the stretch last season and possesses a brand of speed the Pats are currently lacking in the passing game.
As a rookie, Dobson caught a respectable 37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns, but he flashed some big play ability in his 5-130-2 outing against the Steelers in early November. His FP/T (1.05) was average, but if he can beat out Brandon LaFell and Kenbrell Thompkins for a starting job, he should produce with Tom Brady throwing the ball. He only played 63% of the snaps as a rookie.
WR Stephen Hill not only doesn't play special teams, he also did not impress very much this summer. Couple those factors with Rex Ryan's lukewarm comments about Hill on Tuesday, and you have a second-round draft pick who isn't going to make it into this third season with the Jets.
The Jets famously took Hill two picks ahead of Alshon Jeffery. Now it looks like Hill may get cut.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:24pm
The Giants are looking for playmakers at the wide receiver position. Fourth-quarter preseason star Corey Washington could get a chance to show what he can do earlier in the game. Veteran Mario Manningham has this one final chance to prove he's healthy and explosive enough on the outside to merit a roster spot. Jerrel Jernigan has been coasting through camp as a guy who assumes he has a roster spot locked up, but the Giants would very much like to see him perform the way he did last December, even for one drive. Lots still to sort out at these positions with a week and a half to go.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:23pm
Saints beat writer Mike Triplett: The only camp battle that can truly be influenced by Thursday night's performances is the kicker battle. It’s close enough that a bad night could doom either guy (Shayne Graham or Derek Dimke).
Owners should keep this in mind during their drafts, especially if their leagues don't allow a waiver pickup prior to Week 1.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:20pm
The 49ers brought back Brandon Lloyd this offseason. They also acquired Stevie Johnson and drafted Bruce Ellington. And Quinton Patton has flashed this offseason. So who is in line to be the 49ers' No. 3 receiver, behind starters Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree? The position seemed earmarked for Johnson but he did not get much run in the third preseason game. The 49ers may use this game to get a better feel on their third receiver, even if Kaepernick is long gone from the game and Blaine Gabbert and Josh Johnson are the ones throwing the ball. In any event, coach Jim Harbaugh said he felt "very good" about Stevie Johnson being on the 49ers' 53-man roster.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:19pm
The Bears' WR3 competition remains in the forefront as the team hopes to take one last look at Josh Morgan and Santonio Holmes, who should now be a little more comfortable with the offense. Morgan caught three of the five balls thrown his way last week against Seattle for 48 yards, while Holmes hauled in one pass for 7 yards. Morgan has shown he’s perfectly capable of handling the No. 3 job while Marquess Wilson continues to heal from a fractured clavicle. Holmes could potentially add a dynamic element in the slot.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:18pm
Titans K Maikon Bonani and Travis Coons get their final chance to seize the kicker job. One of them is expected to be cut Friday or Saturday. But both could be if the Titans decide to move on to a veteran after looking at three on Wednesday. Bonani needs to show accuracy with his big leg and produce touchbacks. Coons needs to show more leg, putting kickoffs higher and deeper.